As my family converged this week, Alena got used to being called Sarah and Sarah Tessie. Their mother doesn’t really confuse them – well, I hope I don’t. And Bush, well, he had trouble with words. Still, does anyone feel a little worried that Napolitano’s problems are not “misspeaks” but “misthinks.” That is, does she believe terrorism doesn’t exist? That we should be more worried about returning vets than those who would have destroyed, say, Brooklyn Bridge? Is she capable (and I would think for someone in her position it would be important to do so) of distinguishing between actions covered in civil and criminal courts, between actions that enforce laws on the books and political actions? Lemuel Shaw (father-in-law to Melville) was hung in effigy after the Sims trial. He knew politics, he knew his beliefs – he was an abolitionist; but he also recognized the law. I’d just as soon we didn’t have good people enforcing bad laws. But laws can be adjusted; precedence can’t – laws should be seen as, well, laws.
Perhaps I simply haven’t enough context or knowledge; perhaps she isn’t as bad as this seems. I’m not always impressed by the level of CNN’s interviews. Nonetheless, although I’m less critical than some on this blog of illegal immigration, I fear this hints at further, deeper troubles ahead.
Here is a CNN interview; transcript from Hot Air.
KING: A lot of Democrats in Congress want to you investigate [Joe Arpaio]. They think he is over the line. He says he is just enforcing the law and the problem is the federal government.
NAPOLITANO: Well, you know, Sheriff Joe, he is being very political in that statement, because he knows that there aren’t enough law enforcement officers, courtrooms or jail cells in the world to do what he is saying.
What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery.
And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.
6 thoughts on “Mis Speak or Think?”
Gerard VanDerLeun has a great post about Napolitano and Government fear of the governed over at American Digest. He explains it all very clearly &, I’m afraid, it makes a lot of sense.
“Lemuel Shaw (father-in-law to Melville)” Lemuel Shaw was Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court from 1830 to 1860. That the author of “Moby Dick” was his son-in-law is not totally relevant to the story.
The Sims case was that of Thomas Sims, a fugitive slave, whom Shaw refused to release on habeas corpus.
Thought I would clear that up.
Thanks Schwartz. However, a man is not irrelevant whose character (however he may have felt toward them) argues that the buttons on a sailor’s uniform indicate a role – as judge in a mutiny case he is not to make law but to interpret it in a disinterested way. Obama’s choices (say the new advisor who argued Bush & Cheney should have been put in straight jackets) don’t seem to have thought about those questions – indeed, one wonders if words for such concepts are a part of their vocabularies.
By the way, ot narrative: Shaw courted Melville’s aunt; when she died, he married the woman who bore him two children, one of whom married Melville; she died and he married again. To the day he died, he kept a picture of Melville’s aunt in his pocket. His biographers note that might have been why Shaw had more patience with a son-in-law who was not always the easiest of husbands. It also shows us how small America was then and how big it is now.
NAPOLITANO: And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil.
Excuse me, but when is a misdemeanor not a crime?
Click on that link and you will find that entering the US illegally is, in fact, a misdemeanor for the first violation. Any more and it is a felony.
Besides the very clearly stated criminal charges, the law also imposes a civil fine on those who are found in violation.
Did Napolitano just get it wrong, or is she lying outright to downplay the seriousness of the offense, and so clear the way for some sort of amnesty program? Don’t know.
But I do know that she is either an incompetent buffoon, or an underhanded shill for the Obama administration who is willing to ignore the law she is supposed to enforce.
Speaking of her “misspeaks”, I’m confused on the uproar over her comments about some of the 9/11 terrorists coming from Canada. I remember in the early days that it was believed that some small number of them did fly in through Canada. Did some other information come out in the meantime? I’m not blaming Canada. They still would have had to come in on visas issued by the US and through customs stations manned by US officials. But I was under the impression that some had come in through Canada too.
NAPOLITANO: “What we have to do is target the real evil-doers in this business, the employers who consistently hire illegal labor, the human traffickers who are exploiting human misery.”
By which she means, of course, the people who are doing the most to alleviate human misery.
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